Are vegetarians hurting the environment just the same as meat eaters?

This is I believe to be an interesting debate that an individual brought to me. The question was whether or not vegetarians are hurting our environment because of the things they choose to eat. Now you may wonder what exactly vegetarians eat. They mostly eat lots of fruits and lots of vegetables. What they actually don’t eat depending on what kind of vegetarians they are, are meats, they usually don’t eat poultry, fish, game or any slaughtered products. Everyone has their reasoning as to why they choose to eat certain things and not to eat certain things. Being that a certain point in my life I was vegetarian not by choice but my reasons were more religious based. When I ask other people as to why to choose to be vegetarian, one of the common things they tell me is that they don’t like seeing what is done to the animals. This I can completely understand. Now the question is in a vegetarian diet, they consume a lot of fruits and vegetables, all of which comes from either plants or trees. When these vegetables are ripped from the plants and sometimes the plants die, are we not hurting the plants as well? Well the argument can very well be, who care’s it’s a plant but in actuality plants are do breathe, they do it differently but nonetheless they are alive. Plants carry out a different process called respiration on a cellular level but that doesn’t make them any less alive. I know how crazy this may sound but do you think that at some level vegetarianism is hurting our ecosystem as well?

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